It's Thursday, which means a new wave of Alex Rodriguez scandal. ESPN.com brings us an allegation that A-Rod took steroids while with the Yankees (despite his claims otherwise), leading to a fascinating nickname for him:
["A-Rod" author Selena] Roberts broke the story that A-Rod failed a steroid test in 2003. Yankees teammates, Roberts writes in the book, nicknamed Rodriguez "B---h T--s" in 2005 because he put on 15 pounds in the offseason that resulted in round pectorals, a condition called gynecomastia that can be caused by anabolic steroids.
Roberts also writes that Rodriguez took steroids in high school, when his bench-press max increased from 100 to 310 pounds over a period of six months (hey Alex—I can totally relate).
However, these latest steroid stories shouldn't really damage A-Rod's reputation further. The public tends to have a pretty short memory about stuff like this, partially because of media saturation, but also because most people can relate to the desire to be the best at all costs.
But...there's another allegation about Rodriguez that would truly earn him the name of B---h T--s. From SI.com:
The book, as first reported by the New York Daily News, claims Rodriguez, while playing shortstop for the Texas Rangers, tipped opposing batters about what pitches were coming in lopsided games. Rodriguez, according to the book, tipped those players so they could reciprocate and provide him with what pitches were coming in one-sided games so that he could pad his batting statistics.
Stealing signs? Sure, part of the game. But tipping pitches to THE OTHER TEAM?
From Roberts herself:
When games were already decided, they noticed this behavior with Alex where he would do very obvious signs, presumably to an opposing hitter who would be a middle infielder on an opposing team, where they believed that he would tip the signs. [...]
What this was all part of was a quid pro quo, according to the people I spoke with. Alex would tip his middle infielder buddy on the other team and the player on the other team would in turn tip Alex. What it was was slump insurance. You could count on your buddy to help you break out of your slump, if you're 0 for 3 or you've had a bad week. There was no intent to throw a game or change the outcome.
Hmmm, no throwing games, and only during blowouts. Forgivable? Nope! Although this activity technically falls under the rubric of "being the best at all costs," a line has (allegedly) been crossed: betraying your team. People hate a rat. And if these allegations are true, then B---h T--s is a rat.
Bud Selig, your comments?
"I'm not going to respond until I see the book," Selig told SI.com. "I just heard about it."